To the friends and readers from whom I have been absent:
Let’s start with this: I left this page to spend more time on my second book—the sequel to The Messenger.* Now and again, readers of The Messenger would ask me that most wonderful of questions: When will the sequel be finished? If you’re a writer, there is no question more heart-warming—and humbling—than that one. Believe me, I’m grateful.
It is finished. To be more precise…the story is finished. More about that later.
Now let me say how good it is to be back. It was lonely out there, writing that second book. Writing a book is a lonely occupation. It’s you in a room by yourself with a blank screen. For a long time.
Staring at a blank screen is a scary, exhilarating, intimidating, metaphysical experience. It will awaken every insecurity you ever stuffed away in the dusty attic of your subconscious. And that’s the god’s-honest truth.
But. There are other moments, pinpoints in time, when you are immersed in a deep, quiet well, when the writing isn’t coming from you at all, but from somewhere else. These are the moments when you are the scribe, not the author. As the scribe (for you have a part to play), your assignment is to recount the story, scrub away the detritus of self, and leave the Gift from The Well intact.
My gift came at the lowest point in my life. My young son had passed away, and I could not find a reason to live. The gift was a story. And it came with a story teller, a guide from another time, another place. He told me the story of his life. Just that. I wrote it down. And it changed everything.
I also recorded what was happening to me as the veil between me and my spirit guide, my story teller, gently dropped away. What I didn’t know was that our stories would converge, that they were bound one to the other in the spaceless, timeless story of life itself.
Some who read our story believe in spirit guides. Others suspend disbelief and accept it as a story of love. Still others are more comfortable reading it as fiction. It doesn’t matter to me. The story stands alone. It proves, or suggests if you prefer, that life does not end with the phenomenon known as death.
The gift did not expire, nor does it ever, I believe, and the story did not end with The Messenger. It continues to its conclusion in the second book, which I have all but finished. Now here we are, as promised. As writers know, what comes after you are “finished” is another round or two—or three—of work. That is where I am now, listening to Beta readers (friends and target audience), re-writing parts, and getting ready for another go-round with my wonderful editor.
She and I never change the story; our task is to make sure that it is as clear and as true as we can make it. We know it is a gift, and we approach it reverently and with respect.
So, my dear friends, while all that is going on, I will revisit this page from time to time. I hope you will stay with me and keep me company. I welcome your comments. If you like what we talk about here, send the post to a friend. There is a lot going on in the world, most of which I cannot fathom, much of which is sad and fearful. Maybe together we can find a little sunshine behind the clouds and spread it. Or maybe we can spend a few minutes just walking each other home.
See you soon.
*The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide can be found on Amazon.